Stain Removal

How to Get Rid of Blood Stains

Perhaps you are not a vampire, but you are still struggling with an annoying bloodstain! When blood soaks into fabrics and stains, it can be very difficult to get out. Haemoglobin (the main protein found in blood), combined with oxygen in the air, gives blood its red appearance. When blood coagulates, it thickens, and when it thickens deep in the small particles of fabrics and materials, it makes for a tricky stain.

Thankfully, there are a number of ways to get blood out of fabrics like clothing and carpet. Blood is best cleaned up immediately when it is still fresh and wet, but there are a number of ways of cleaning up dried, brownish blood also. So, whether you’ve got a cut from something in your household, or while working or engaging in other physical activity, this article should help you out to get rid of blood stains in your life.

Bloodstains are best dealt with immediately. Dried blood gets its brown hue from coming into contact with the air, and when it coagulates, as was just mentioned it thickens into more of a gel state, clinging to fabrics much more than wet blood. So, the moment your clothing, furniture, or carpet comes into contact with blood, you should take precautions to clean it as soon as possible.

1. Soak in water.

Your first step when you get blood on clothing material is to immediately remove the material as soon as it’s come into contact with blood and soak it in water. If you have blood on a carpet or piece of furniture that can’t be soaked, take a wet cloth or a sponge to gently blot the stain. Do not use too much pressure if you do this, otherwise you could spread out the stain, which you never want to happen, of course.

Also, it’s best not to use hot water when soaking a blood-stained fabric – heat can make the blood set deeper into the fabric, and the stain will be much more difficult to clean up.

2. Hydrogen peroxide.

After you’ve let the stain soak in cold or warm water for a few minutes, you should apply some hydrogen peroxide to the stain. When the peroxide foams up on the stain, be sure to contain where it forms or the stain could spread to the surrounding fabric. After letting it sit for a few minutes, wipe the foam away and soak the article in cold water for a few minutes.

However, be careful with certain fabrics – hydrogen peroxide itself could stain them. If you are unsure if your article of clothing will stain with hydrogen peroxide, take a small dab and test it where it won’t be noticeable.

Hydrogen peroxide can also remove blood stains from solid surfaces like concrete – so, if you’ve got a cut from working in your garage or on your driveway, this would be your best bet for getting rid of it from that surface.

3. Salt and water.

For more delicate fabrics that could be stained with hydrogen peroxide, you may want to use a mixture of salt and water. Salt will help to absorb the blood from the fabric, and the cold water will help to remove it. Mix plenty of salt with some water into a paste and vigorously apply it to the stain, rinsing it in cold water immediately after wiping off the salt/water.

4. WD-40.

WD-40 works great for loosening a bloodstain – it does this by loosening up the blood particles themselves that are in the fabrics’ links. Applying a layer of WD-40 and carefully buffing it into the stain works great for before putting the article of clothing in the wash or cleaning it out by other means.

5. Meat tenderizer.

Dried-out bloodstains can be nearly impossible to get out if they’ve been on fabric for more than 24 hours, but there are still a few things you can do to get them out. Again, you should clean up bloodstains as soon as you find them.

For some dried stains, applying an unseasoned meat tenderizer can help clean deep into the stain. Enzymes such as cellulose and lipase, found in common meat tenderizers, help break down the organic material found in meat and blood.

Meat tenderizer, applied after a long soak in cold water, can go a long way. Be careful with fabrics like silk and wool, though – enzymes can weaken the fabric and ruin your clothing. This solution works best for stains on sturdier materials like denim and canvas.

6. OxiClean products.

OxiClean products contain enzymes, similar to that found in meat tenderizers, so using detergents made by OxiClean for your clothing, and using OxiClean stain removers for your furniture, should work well for both dry and fresh blood stains.

7. Throw out the material.

Sometimes, a fabric is just too stained to clean out. If you’ve left a stain for more than a few days, it’s likely that the blood is too coagulated in the fabric to come out completely.

If you have an article of clothing that is stained to the point of no return, you may just need to part with it – if your furniture or carpet is too stained, we hate to say, but you may need to replace it, which can be an expensive replacement. However, if it’s in an easily hid spot on your carpet, you may be able to cover it up with an area rug.

The main thing to keep in mind when cleaning out bloodstains is the coagulating of the blood – cleaning the blood before it gets to aerate for too long should prove to be a fairly easy clean, but you’ve got a real problem if the blood sits for too long. A day or two is more than enough for a bloodstain to become difficult to manage, if not practically impossible to clean out completely. So, be sure to get rid of bloodstains as soon as you see it on your clothing or furniture, or you’ll either have to get rid of the stained item or take some serious deep cleaning measures that don’t always work completely.

About the author

Nicole Harding

25 Comments

  • For light colored carpets, this works really well. Let the blood dry and then rub a small brush (toothbrush) to break up the stain. Vacuum up the loose particles. Spray pure Hydrogen Peroxide onto stain (you should see a ‘fizzing’ reaction) and then blot or gently rub with a rag or cloth.

    This worked on a white carpet w/ a declawed cat who tore most of his stiches and then ran around with bloody paws!

  • if you soak the piece of clothing, don;t soak it too long or the blood will spread to other parts of your clothing making your job harder because you would have to clean mutiple blood stains.

  • Hydrogen Peroxide! Put a rag underneath and pour tiny amounts of peroxide while rubbing and blotting on top with an additional rag or tissue. Keep blotting and pouring, you will see the blood stain go right through to the rag or tissue that you are holding underneath the stain. It will bubble up white as peroxide usually does. If the blood stain has been there for a long time it may not come out as clean as you like. I have used this remedy since I was a child and it has always worked.

  • Well…that’s weird. I’ve never had trouble removing blood from clothing. Actually, it’s one of the easiest stains to remove.

    Now, I don’t know about A LOT of blood, but if it’s a normal amount, like you cut yourself or something, you just have to make sure to turn on the cold water only (maybe wait for the water to drain a little and get colder) and put the fabric under it. You could soak it a little (not always necessary), like 5 minutes maybe then turn to normal water and use soap, rub and it’s usually off extremely easily. I don’t know if it works all the time, but it has for me.

    Never tried shampoo, but I’ve heard it works many times. 🙂

  • If it’s your blood on your clothing suck it spit on it and suck it will slowly fade then when it stops fading put it in the wash with bleach

  • I agree 110% about the OXY CLEAN! My mom left a roast out of the deepfreeze in our laundry room. I had also left my brand new white capri pants on the floor by the deepfreeze when i was in a hurry. Well the roast thawed and bled all over the deepfreeze and (you guessed it) My white capris… We didnt find out for almost a day. I was heartbroken. Now my mom had just bought oxy clean and hadn’t used it before, so we were sceptical but willing to try anything.

    Not a spot. No bloody hue. I swear my capris were glowing when i took them out of the washer! Now we ONLY use oxy clean!!

  • Spray fabric with 409 all purpose cleaner. Then, soak in cold water and spray a little more 409. wash in cold water. 409 works for many stains on fabric. I swear by it!

  • First use a pet urine removal product. (I used Nature’s Miracle) It removes the urine by enzyme action. Really works on blood!!!!!! Several reapplications over 15 min. Then an oxygen cleaner that I let sit for about 10 min and washed in cold water. Removed the blood with no trace in clothing and sheets.

  • for those of u who dont have oxy clean..u can try this:

    fill a small tub with hot water.mix cloth detergent(which ever kind u use).wet the cloth which ur going to wach.then sprinkle a little amount on the stain.just rub a little.and then soak the cloth in the water tub.leave it for 12-24 hours.take it out and wash it again.will b as good as new! trust me

  • I just bought a new pair of white capris (my first) and I had them laid out well my cat got her paw hurt on something and you guessed it blood all over my capris. I tried dawn dishsoap and peroxide and no more stain…hurray

  • I did’nt had any oxy clean for my new white short that i bled on… so i used some SPRAY N’ WASH whit some bleach and then i put in in the washing machine with COLD water

  • I’ve fought with blood stains since I was a kid. Fresh stains are always easy to clean – colors I soak in cold water and scrub (if necessary) with some laundry detergent. Whites I just pour bleach directly on it and after a couple minutes it disappears.

    Set stains have destroyed some of my clothing over the years, I’ve found shampoo usually works if you use your fingernail to scrub it, but sometimes it does not entirely remove the stain.

  • shampoo works miracles! i bled on my shorts many times and shampoo removes them easily. or try soaking them for a while with detergent.

  • Thank you so much for the tip for using Hdrogen Peroxide to get rid of blood out of clothing.It shure saved us from taking the jacket to the cleaners.
    Thanks again!

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